What is the Best Lightsaber Fight in 'Star Wars?' The 15 Greatest Duels, Ranked

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A good lightsaber fight is at the heart of any piece of the Star Wars puzzle, and with so many great showdowns along the way, it can be challenging to pick one that stands above all the rest.

As the sabers clash and emotions rage, we get caught up in the moment and the spectacle of what we are witnessing. Whether it's Darth Vader vs. Obi-Wan, Kylo Ren vs. Rey, or anything in between, nothing beats a great lightsaber duel.

15. Kylo Ren vs. Rey and Finn

Appears in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Now many people, myself included, don't care for the Sequel trilogy. It's almost the inverse of the prequel trilogy, which was planned properly with a coherent story but executed poorly in terms of dialog, structure, and pacing. The sequel trilogy suffers from many similar problems but also lacks a story that has the cohesion of the prequels.

All that being said, the sequels have worthwhile moments, and this lightsaber fight is among them. This duel felt like it really was a "changing of the guard" and that we'd be following these three characters, and they'd be our new heroes.

Fresh off murdering his father, Han Solo, Kylo Ren battles Rey and Finn on a crumbling snow planet with a giant space laser at its center. Can't get much more Star Wars than that.

Whether or not you like the sequels, you can't deny that this duel was pretty damn cool.

14. Mace Windu vs. Darth Sidious

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Goofy CGI and prequel memes aside, the importance of this duel to the overall Star Wars canon cannot be understated. The Jedi have just discovered that Palpatine (the most obvious Sith Lord ever) is actually Darth Sidious and has been secretly manipulating the Clone Wars.

When Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin go to arrest him, Sidious fights back, declaring, "It's treason then," and does his now-famous "screeching through the air while doing a spin" maneuver.

After quickly dispatching Tiin, Kolar, and Fisto, Mace Windu fights him and eventually takes him down. When Anakin Skywalker arrives, he saves Palpatine and helps him kill Mace Windu in order to save his wife Padmé Amidala (or so Anakin thinks.)

13. Count Dooku vs. Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Much like the Palpatine vs. Mace Windu battle, this lightsaber fight's importance to Anakin's eventual fall is crucial. Obi-Wan quickly takes out some super battle droids that came with Dooku.

After that, he is tossed aside, leaving it to Anakin to defeat Dooku.
After cutting off Dooku's hands, Palpatine demands Dooku be executed, leaving him in shock. Here, he realizes that he's been a pawn since the beginning, used only to help Palpatine enact his grand plan to cause Anakin's fall to the dark side.

Anakin kills him but immediately recognizes that he shouldn't have done that, the conflict within him raging on.

12. Jango Fett vs. Obi Wan Kenobi

Appears in: Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

Alright, I'm cheating with this one, as it's not really a lightsaber fight but more just a duel with a lightsaber in it. Obi-Wan is on Kamino getting to the bottom of a conspiracy that involves cloning and a mysterious bounty hunter named Jango Fett. He discovers that the Kaminoans are building a clone army for the Republic, and when he goes to take Jango into custody, they do battle.

It's on the list because it's really one of the first times we see a non-force user hold their own against an experienced Jedi Knight.

11. Obi Wan Kenobi and Adi Gallia vs. Maul and Savage Oppress

Appears in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

If you haven't watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars and are a fan of the franchise, you should make a point to check it out because there is some excellent Star Wars content in the series. While it is animated and parts are more aimed toward kids, it's lightsaber fights like this one that show just how dark the show could get.

To set the stage, Maul (yes, he survived The Phantom Menace) and his brother Savage Oppress are forced into a duel with Obi-Wan and fellow Jedi Adi Galla. Driven by his hatred for Obi-Wan, Maul ferociously duels him. At the same time, Oppress and Galla do battle, with Oppress violently becoming the victor, ruthlessly executing the Jedi Knight (see, I told you, it could get dark.)

Using two lightsabers, Obi-Wan fights off both Maul and Oppress by himself—even cutting off one of Savage's arms—before a tunnel collapse forces all the combatants to flee.

10. Maul vs. Pre Vizsla

Appears in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Another fantastic lightsaber fight from The Clone Wars, this duel takes place after Pre Vizla, leader of a group of Mandalorians known as Death Watch and owner of the Darksaber, fights with Maul for control of Mandalore.

They had been temporary allies but once realizing that their goals no longer aligned, turned on one another with Maul emerging the victor. Upon his victory, Maul becomes the owner of the Darksaber and Ruler of Mandalore.

9. Darth Sidious vs. Yoda

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Lightsaber fights like this one are why the prequel trilogy is incredibly goofy but, at the same time, so charming. The CGI is over-the-top in all the right ways, with Yoda, our favorite little green Jedi Master, and Darth Sidious, the cackling Sith Lord, doing battle in the Senate chambers.

After lightsabers do not settle the score, the two foes turn to use the force against one another. Palpatine tosses massive Senate seats at Yoda, who barely manages to dodge them before throwing them back at the Sith Lord.

Yoda is able to force Palpatine to a stalemate and escape, where he heads into exile on Dagobah.

8. Kylo Ren and Rey vs. Snoke's Guards

Appears in: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Similar to the duel from The Force Awakens, this scene is one of the best moments from the sequel trilogy. In a moment where we think he has been turned away from the Dark Side, Kylo Ren kills Supreme Leader Snoke and saves Rey.

They both battle Snoke's elite guards, who are all armed with lightsaber weapons. It is a struggle (the guards are elite, after all), but eventually, Kylo and Rey are able to subdue their enemies.

Kylo then takes up the mantle of Supreme Leader himself, asking Rey to join him. Kylo makes his argument for letting the past die, but Rey refuses.

7. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (2nd Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

It is the penultimate duel of the original Star Wars trilogy, with Luke Skywalker making one last effort to save his father from the dark side. In the throne room of the Death Star, Luke nearly succumbs to his anger by killing Palpatine but is stopped by Vader, who proceeds to fight him.

When Vader senses that he has a sister who could potentially be corrupted, Luke embraces his anger and defeats Vader, but he refuses to turn from the light and saves his father from the dark side.

6. Ahsoka Tano vs. Darth Vader

Appears in: Star Wars: Rebels

One of the most emotional lightsaber fights in Star Wars is a duel that many people might not be aware of but most definitely should be.

Ahsoka Tano, who is now gaining more mainstream recognition thanks to her live-action appearance in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, finally engages her former master Darth Vader. She made her first appearance when she was a padawan to Anakin Skywalker. After leaving the Jedi Order, their relationship fell apart, and after a brief reunion before Revenge of the Sith, they never spoke again.

It is here that Ahsoka, much like Luke, attempts to reason with Vader before realizing that her former friend and mentor is no longer there. He has fully embraced the dark side, forcing her to duel him.

She nearly defeats him, cutting off half of his mask. He calls her out by name, possibly hinting that he still cares for Ahsoka to some degree, but it's only a brief moment. He then switches back to Vader and continues his onslaught.

5. Ahsoka Tano vs. Maul

Appears in: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The best duel in The Clone Wars series, the lightsaber fight between Maul and Ahsoka, is some of the best Star Wars content you'll ever see.

Ahsoka, leading the Republic forces in taking back Mandalore, fights with Maul, who wants to lure Obi-Wan and Anakin there. While they went to Coruscant to save Palpatine, Ahsoka went to take down Maul.

After Maul divulges that he's seen what Palpatine is planning and that Anakin will fall, Ahsoka refuses to join him. The two then engage in combat, and you can almost immediately tell that this fight is perfectly choreographed, and the motion capture is incredibly sleek and fun to watch.

Ray Park, who played Maul in The Phantom Menace, returned to motion capture him for this fight, and it immediately shows. The fight ends with Maul's capture at the hands of the Republic, as he screams for them to let him die to avoid what is come.

It's an incredibly chilling moment and one that sticks with you for a while.

4. Obi Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader (Second Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: A New Hope

You come for the importance of this lightsaber fight and not its action.

The influence of the Samurai films by Akira Kurosawa is on full display in the very first duel of the Star Wars franchise, with Obi-Wan and Darth Vader having their last showdown.

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine," Obi-Wan utters the famous line before he is "killed" by Vader. He becomes one with the Force as his master did before him and guides Luke in his growth from learned to one of the greatest Jedi in history.

3. Obi Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Vader (First Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

(You can watch the second part of the duel here)

In the climactic fight of the prequel trilogy, Obi-Wan must face the fact that his best friend and apprentice had indeed been lost and is forced to fight him to the death. It's genuinely tragic, with Anakin turning on not just Obi-Wan but also his wife Padmé, nearly killing her.

Writing dialogue that feels natural and is, you know, good has never been George Lucas' strong suit, hence why we get "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil!" It's lines like that nearly take you out of the moment, but once you can get past that, you can fully embrace the gravity of the scene.

Especially when Vader is cut down, and Obi-Wan leaves him to die on the banks of the Mustafar lava river; you know just how much this means to the Star Wars story.

2. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Darth Maul

Appears in: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

(You can watch the second part of the duel here)

This duel is one thing that makes The Phantom Menace a decent Star Wars film. Before this, we'd only ever seen what the original trilogy had to offer when it came to lightsaber fights. Those duels were somewhat limited by the visual effects of the time, but here, we can see what lightsabers and Jedi can truly do.

Everyone knows the stakes: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan face off with Darth Maul, and the now famous John Williams' score kicks in. Maul ignites his dual lightsaber, and we're off to the races.

Maybe one of the highlights of this duel is that Maul does not say a single word during it; he silently moves through the fight looking to murder both of these Jedi.

It's an epic showdown of the light and the dark side, with much of the galaxy's future on the line. You know the rest, but it's safe to say this would be the greatest of all time if not for the final duel on this list.

1. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader (First Duel)

Appears in: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

You already knew what would be number one on a best lightsaber fight ranking.

Luke Skywalker rushes to Cloud City to try and save his friends, not realizing that it's a trap set by Darth Vader to capture him. They meet in the freezing chamber where Han Solo had just met his demise, and their fight begins.

It's a David vs. Goliath type of fight, with Luke never really standing a chance against the Dark Lord of the Sith. Luke doesn't give in, though. Even if he falls, he will do what he believes is necessary to save his friends and the Rebellion.

The duel ends with Vader admitting that he is Luke's father, much to the dismay of our hero, who tries to escape by falling down an air shaft. Leia and Lando Calrissian rescue him as they head off into the unknown to consider their mission to stop the Empire.

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